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Vegas casinos bet on the net

Las Vegas is a city consumed by gambling. Behind the glittery facade of its casinos you can find dozens of ways in which this obsession in played out.
Over the many years technology has played a part in creating the offerings ever much more inventive.

Yet right up until recently the entertainment corporations which run the Vegas casinos had been reluctant to embrace the clicks-and-mortar world of net gaming.

“Many operators here aren’t used to the challenges of getting an online business,” explained Anthony Cabot, a lawyer specialising in gambling legislation.

“The second major challenge is obviously legal. Regrettably the position from the Department of Justice is that all gambling by US firms from the US is illegal.”

Identifying players

One in the largest entertainment groups in Las Vegas, MGM Mirage, has thrown down a challenge to its rivals plus the regulators.

It already owns some on the most prestigious properties inside city. Fed up of watching on the internet gambling grow from the sidelines, the group decided to launch its own cyber-casino outside of US legal jurisdiction.
Two years of cautious planning gave method to celebration two months ago, when the online venture finally launched offshore just off the British mainland on the Isle of Man.

The web page offers a variety of various games, which you can play purely for fun.

Paid betting is only offered to citizens of six European countries.

To maintain Americans out, MGM has built a system that uses technology to monitor wherever players are betting from.

“We are 99.9% confident it catches anybody who’s not of age or from places that don’t currently allow on-line gaming for its citizens or operators,” said Bill Hornbuckle of MGM Mirage On the web.

MGM say their geographical verification software can identify in which customers are coming from and prevent them from making use of the site.

Cautious casinos

Despite its confidence, the fact is that MGM is taking a risk worthy of the Vegas high-roller in deciding to launch an online casino.
If the bet pays off, they will grab a share of a $3.5bn gaming business. If it fails, the group risks its reputation and perhaps its long-term future.

With such high stakes, quite a few of its Vegas rivals are cautious about following suit.

“We’re watching it pretty closely, but we’re being incredibly, incredibly cautious at this point and there’s a reason why,” said David Strow of Harrah’s Entertainment.

“We’ve spent the last 65 years constructing up this firm. We now have additional than 24 casinos across the country, and billions of dollars invested.

“But the way it works from the US is that each of these casinos has to be licensed by a state so that you can operate. They view it as a privilege not a proper.

“If we’re discovered in violation of federal or state laws regarding world wide web gaming they have the appropriate to take our licences. In essence we could lose our capacity to operate our properties,” he said.

For these causes Harrah’s is wary of investing millions in on the net gambling right up until a whole range of technical, legal and regulatory issues are resolved.

Brand recognition

As far as MGM are concerned, it’s aware of how much is riding on its on the internet initiative.

“Clearly everyone’s reputations are at stake, and most notably ours mainly because we’ve taken the 1st step,” stated Mr Hornbuckle.

“But we believe it takes a leadership role. We consider we’ve now identified that and we feel it can reasonably be done.”

Other casinos are now looking into the opportunities offered by the internet.

Two of MGM Mirage’s real world competitors have filed applications for an on the net licence and additional could follow.

“The casino industry has a large benefit in this marketplace because they have good brand recognition, they’ve databases, and they’re creating a cross-market for their on the web merchandise with their casino item,” explained Mr Cabot, “so I think quite a few them will be involved.”

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